The Bat Bothy
Horsham Stone, Bats
Dimensions 2.8 x 2m
Client: Warnham Nature Reserve,
Funding: Horsham District Council, Arts Council England
The elliptical form of the Bat Bothy was drawn out of the early industrial iron working history of the site, by 1609 a furnace was on record as operating at Warnham, getting the power for its bellows from the pond which was made for this purpose. The interior elliptical space of an ancient blast furnace is made solid in the Bat Bothy.
The material for the ‘bat bothy’ is reclaimed Horsham Stone, removed from paved areas of Horsham The rough stone construction is reminiscent of ancient stacked stone structures like Cairn’s and Broch’s. Cairns are a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline. Broch’s are prehistoric circular stone towers in north Scotland.
As the seasons pass the Bat Bothy will be a constant, dapple shaded in the summer by the leaves on the surrounding trees, a dark profile against the water in the winter. It’s curved sides are precise arc’s despite the jagged surface, it’s large enough to perform an architectural function but it has no door or windows, no access, at least not for humans…
But the surface of the Bothy has numerous entrances large enough for the intended residents. Daubenton bats are mostly found in woodlands and always choose roosts close to water sources such as rivers or ponds. Summer colonies are typically formed in caves, tunnels, cellars, mines, and underneath bridges. The interior of the Bat Bothy is a tall narrow cave criss-crossed with hanging bars, the walls are a network of fissures and ledges. It is a haven for the Daubenton's bat.
The Bat Bothy was built by Will Nash with staff from Warnham Nature Reserve and volunteers from the Horsham Green Gym, an independent volunteer nature conservation group run by its members, with support from Horsham District Council.
Bat Roost Information
Suitable bat hibernation sites are characterised by thick walls that buffer their interior spaces from fluctuating ambient winter temperature and humidity. Natural sites include caves and deep rock and tree fissures. Man-made sites include a wide range of built structures that have fallen into disuse, such as worked-out mines and dene-holes, cellars, rail and other tunnels, Victorian icehouses and various military structures (including pillboxes).